Author Archives: stevec

Trumpcare – What The Experts Are Saying

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Healthcare experts chime-in on the latest republican attempt at repeal and replace.

Paul Krugman: Cruelty Incompetence and Lies – Removing all three Legs of healthcare

Graham-Cassidy, the health bill the Senate may vote on next week, is stunningly cruel. It’s also incompetently drafted: The bill’s sponsors clearly had no idea what they were doing when they put it together. Furthermore, their efforts to sell the bill involve obvious, blatant lies.

The Affordable Care Act, which has reduced the percentage of Americans without health insurance to a record low, created a three-legged stool … Graham-Cassidy saws off all three legs of that stool.

David Leonhardt: a quick rundown this morning of what the experts are saying about the bill:

It “violates the precept of ‘first do no harm’” and “would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage.” American Medical Association, which represents doctors.

It is “the worst healthcare bill yet.” American Nurses Association.

It “would erode key protections for patients and consumers.” American Hospital Association.

The “process [in the Senate] is just as bad as the substance. … Most Americans wouldn’t buy a used car with this little info.” AARP.

The bill will “weaken access to the care Americans need and deserve.” – American Heart Association, jointly with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes and Lung associations, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dimes and others.

See the full story for what additional knowledgeable organizations are saying about the pending bill

 

Trump’s Policy Catastrophe

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Robert Reich on “Trumps Policy Catastrophe”

 

Fascism American Style

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Another case of Krugman calling out Trump for what he is:

Let’s call things by their proper names here. Arpaio is, of course, a white supremacist. But he’s more than that. There’s a word for political regimes that round up members of minority groups and send them to concentration camps, while rejecting the rule of law: What Arpaio brought to Maricopa, and what the president of the United States has just endorsed, was fascism, American style.

 

Dreamers, Liars and Bad Economics

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Amoral and Racist Behavior Does it matter that Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, tried to justify Donald Trump’s immigration cruelty with junk economics?

It’s definitely not the main issue. Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is, above all else, immoral. The 800,000 beneficiaries of DACA — the so-called Dreamers — have done nothing wrong; they came to the United States illegally, but not of their own volition, because they were children at the time.

Trump’s Labor Day

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From Robert Reich

Reich provides documentation of the downward spiral in the economic well being of American workers and an explanation of why this has occurred. Here are the highlights.

First the standard explanation: “…most American workers are no longer “worth” as much as they were before digital technologies and globalization. So they must now settle for lower wages and less security.”

According to Reich this is “Rubbish.”

The real reason:

America’s economic and political elites could have used their growing political and economic clout to help workers get ahead – through better schools and more affordable college, comprehensive job retraining, wage insurance, better public transportation, and expanded unemployment insurance.

They could have pushed for universal health insurance.

They could have paid for all this by accepting, even lobbying for, higher taxes on themselves.

They could have sought to reduce their own political clout by demanding limits on campaign spending.

But they did the reverse: They spent more and more of their ever-growing wealth and power to rig the game to their own advantage.

As a result, trust in all the major institutions of our society has plummeted.

Is it any wonder that Trump was elected? He just exploited the situation. But what has he done to repair the damage?

In his first seven months as president, Trump has done nothing for American workers. In fact, his attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act, his retreat from Labor Department regulations boosting overtime pay, and his proposed tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations will make most workers worse off.

But he is in office because of their anger and distrust, and he’s still feeding off it. “The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country,”

 

 

Is The Trump Regime Becoming Irrelevant?

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First of all Trump is a regime not a presidency and is especially authoritarian. But is the power of this regime becoming diminished?

According to Robert Reich Trump can be made irrelevant and it is starting to happen. Read on:

How to Remove Trump

 

Selected Krugman Quotes on Helping American Workers

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From an August 21 NYT’s column: What Will Trump Do to American Workers?

With Steve Bannon out of the White House, it’s clearer than ever that Donald Trump’s promise to be a populist fighting for ordinary workers was worth about as much as any other Trump promise — that is, nothing.

His agenda, such as it is, amounts to reverse Robin Hood with extra racism — the conventional Republican strategy of taking from struggling families to give to the rich, while distracting lower-income whites by attacking Those People, with the only difference being just how blatantly he plays the race card.

The point is that progressives shouldn’t celebrate too much over Trump’s legislative failures. As long as he’s in office, he retains a lot of power to betray the working people who supported him. And in case you haven’t noticed, betraying those who trust him is a Trump specialty.

Trump and Charlottesville

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Former US defence secretary William Cohen and ex-presidential adviser Ron Christie on Mr Trump’s reaction to a white supremacist rally.

Trump and Charlottesville: ‘Amoral’ president stuns world

Liberty and Justice For All

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Not under Trump. He panders to the alt-right and the domestic terrorism of the neo-nazis and white supremacists. In fact they are a significant part of his base.

Charlottesville and a Michael Lewis article, Why the Scariest Nuclear Treat May Be Coming from Inside the White House, has opened my eyes. This blog is no longer limited to exposing the false claims of fact and the illogic that underlie Trump’s actions.

Trump has shown his true colors. He panders to the above mentioned groups and criminal leaders like Vladimir Putin and  Rodrigo Duterte. He fails to recognize critical functions of national government — e.g., healthcare, environmental protection, and nuclear risks. These and other factors demonstrate that:

  1. he does not understand what public service means,
  2. does not stand for the greater good,
  3. lacks understanding of what our national government actually does,
  4. supports and condones the criminal activity of reprehensible groups and leaders,
  5. is clearly amoral and unfit to be president.

Financing Universal Healthcare

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If you accept the premise that everyone should have basic healthcare, providing that boils down to how to finance the entitlement. I am surprised that I have not seen the financing point made by policy experts or by the media (maybe I am not looking hard enough).

However the argument between Republicans and Democrats was not about financing healthcare. The two parties have different objectives: provide for universal healthcare versus reducing taxes and giving tax breaks to higher income groups.

The Trump / Republican’s repeal and replace is a smokescreen to create something federal-budget cheap that looks like universal healthcare. The problem is all of the plans to date would leave millions uninsured. If the debate had been framed as contrasting objectives, healthcare versus tax breaks, the reason for the gridlock would have been obvious and the debate would have been, at least, honest.

In any case Krugman has nice piece on alternatives for providing universal coverage, single payer versus alternatives to single payer: What’s Next for Progressives? In this article, Krugman also discusses the need to “focus on other holes in the U.S. safety net.”